Recent blog posts

Review by Sofema Online - Taking a look at how long the FAA Suspect Parts Program has been in place.


The FAA Suspected Unapproved Parts (SUP) Program Office opened in November 1995 with a mandate to promote a pro-active approach to the task of identifying unapproved parts and removing them from the aviation system.

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Sofema Online considers issued related to FAA & EASA Suspect Unapproved Parts (SUP)


Both EASA and the FAA take very seriously the potential exposure regarding Suspect Parts and will typically take positive action to address once informed by Industry of the reason for the Suspect Part.

Parts manufactured without an appropriate and legal authorized release are described as "unapproved"; they may, in fact, be inferior counterfeits, or be original parts but have in fact been used beyond their time limits, or have not been correctly repaired or have been previously approved but not properly returned to service, be stolen, come with fraudulent labels, production overruns that were not sold with the agency's permission, and those that are untraceable.

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Sofema Online looks at the issues surround Suspect Unapproved Parts (SUP’s)

Whether you are dealing with EASA or FAA parts the challenge remains the same – namely to ensure that the parts are airworthy and from a reputable source.

EASA Article 4(4) of Regulation (EU) 376/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council tasks EASA with the establishment of a mandatory reporting system. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1018 specifies that one of the occurrences which are subject to reporting is ‘the use of products, components or materials, from unknown, suspect origin, or unserviceable critical components’ – SUP.

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Presentation by Sofema Online how to make your meetings more effective.

When delivered in a professional and effective way a business meeting can be a constructive forum that serves to brief & engage, where new ideas can be tabled and where proposals can be discussed and considered in depth.

To achieve the maximum effectiveness meetings must be correctly organized and conducted, minutes taken & distributed and followed-up following the basic rules of ensuring effective meetings are within the capability of all of us.

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Review by Sofema Aviation Services (

Regulatory Background

Reference NPA 2019-05 & EASA  (RMT).0251 Phase II in EPAS 2019-2023, NPA proposes amendments to Annex I (Part 21) to Regulation (EU) No 748/2012 and Annex II (Part-145) to Regulation (EU) No 1321/2014, in order to:

○ Introduce safety management principles that implement ICAO Annex 19, and foster an organizational culture for effective safety management and effective occurrence reporting in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 376/2014.

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Steve Bentley CEO of Sofema Aviation Services ( looks at the regulatory implications of the New Part M and explains the new terms and what they mean.

Implementation Date – 24 March 2020

Following the Implementation Date - each aircraft must follow either Part-M or Part-ML standard, and any person or organization involved in continuing airworthiness must comply with Part-M, or Part-ML or both, depending on the scope of activities (related type(s) of aircraft and operation(s)).

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Sofema Online ( considers regulatory complacencies following the introduction of the new EASA Part M requirements.

Notes Concerning Part CAMO & PART CAO

a) Part-CAMO provides requirements for Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation (CAMO): compared with Part-M Subpart G organization, the main difference is the introduction of SMS principles.

b) Part-CAO provides a new set of requirements for Combined Airworthiness Organisation: such an organization may perform CAMO activities or Maintenance Organisation activities, or both, but limited to non-complex aircraft not used by a licensed air carrier.

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Process Review by Sofema Online (


When investigating problems we should all aim to understand the difference between addressing the symptoms of a problem versus understanding the contributing factors and finally understanding the Root Causes of a given situation or problem.

If we can look deeper and to address on the way all Root Causes as well as Contributing Factors, then we can consider how to fix the underlying disconnects in the system and processes so that that the problem hopefully goes away and does not re-occur.

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Sofema Aviation Services ( Considers Elements related to EASA Regulation 965/2012


No 216/2008 (superseded by regulation 2018/1139) mandates the European Commission to adopt common technical requirements and administrative procedures for air operators of aircraft to ensure compliance with the essential requirements laid down in Annexes IV and Vb of that Regulation.

An Air Operator Certificate (AOC) is a European Required certificate that allows an operator to perform specific operations of commercial air transport.

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Sofema Online considers the role of Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA) in Aviation System Root Cause Analysis.


Human and System errors can have quite significant negative outcomes. Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (PFMEA) looks at each process step to identify risks and possible errors from many different sources.

The sources most often considered are:

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Posted by on in Regulatory

Introduction by Sofema Online

Introduction to Bowtie Risk Assessment Methodology

Bowtie is a risk evaluation method that can be used to analyze and demonstrate causal relationships in high-risk scenarios, in addition to enable an understanding of the control scenarios by identifying control measures.

The assessment of the bowtie elements facilitates the identification of the safety and risk priorities. Providing a visual interpretation of how improvements can be enabled and understood throughout the aviation system.

Bowtie is a visual tool that effectively depicts risk providing an opportunity to identify and assess the key safety barriers either in place or lacking between a safety event and an unsafe outcome.

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Steve Bentley CEO of Sofema Group ( considers the common errors that people make when considering Aviation Errors

Lack of Detail of Appreciation Related to the initial assessment of the Event, Issue or Problem

Spending time to analyze the initial problem so that we understand “What” has happened as well as “How” it happened. It is important to perform this analysis before moving onto Root Cause Analysis.

This will not only determine the nature of the problem but will also identify exactly where the problem exists within the system, to understand when it exists. So, it is important to recognize that a well defined Problem Statement drives the entire Root Cause Analysis effort.

Tagged in: Aviation RCA Root Cause
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AETS-Sofema is pleased to offer Embraer ERJ 135/145 (RR AE3007A engine) Engine Ground Run Training

Details of Forthcoming ERJ Engine Run Training Course

Theory and Practical - Shoreham Airport, UK Embraer ERJ 135/145 (RR AE3007A engine) Engine Ground Run Theory and Practical - Shoreham Airport, UK

What Should Take Place During Pre-Start Briefing?

The pre-start briefing should include functions of each crew member in normal operations and emergencies, including evacuation procedures and assembly point.

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Guest Blog Contribution from Carlos Barcia Training Manager AETS-Sofema EASA 147 Approval BG.147.005

Training is the structured approach to enhance someone’s knowledge which often involves the undertaking of specific taught courses (theoretical knowledge) or on the job training (skills) where a person is given the knowledge needed to apply theory into practice. Often it is the combination of both. The EGR training without a doubt should be composed of a combination of those elements. 

However, competency consists of a number of aspects, of which training is only one. Others include skills, knowledge, experience, appreciation, and understanding of the task at hand. It should be noted that training and/or qualifications alone will not necessarily mean that a person is competent.

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Guest Blog Contribution from Carlos Barcia Training Manager AETS-Sofema EASA 147 Approval BG.147.005

How Important is Correct Engine Running Procedures?

The Answer is critically important with the cost of an Engine running into many millions of EUR care and attention, competence & following correct procedures is extremely important.

Regulatory Context - Competence is the key! 

Whilst there are many relevant regulatory aspects for which there must be an awareness by persons controlling EGR operations, there are no specific regulatory requirements which apply to the supervision and control of this specific task.

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Considerations from SofemaOnline ( (Reference also AC 145-10 - Repair Station Training Program)


Whilst EASA facilitates the development of 147 Organisation Approval in Non-EU Countries, the FAA does not certificate part 147 AMTSs outside of the U.S.

Aircraft Maintenance Technician Schools (AMTS)

An AMTS is an educational facility certificated by the FAA to train prospective aircraft mechanics for careers in the airline industry, in aviation maintenance facilities, and in commercial and General Aviation (GA). 14 CFR part 147 specifies requirements for the certification and operation of an AMTS. The regulation includes both the curriculum requirements and the operating rules for all certificated AMTSs. The knowledge, skills, and abilities required of mechanics are considerable and demand high-quality training. Therefore, the FAA requires high standards from the AMTS.

An AMTS may be FAA-certificated for the following ratings:

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SofemaOnline considers the role of Six Sigma in Aircraft OPS & Maintenance

General Terms

Total Quality Management (TQM)

TQM is a comprehensive set of management practices and tools with the primary focus on meeting or exceeding customer requirements. The emphasis is on process measurement and controls that seek to involve all employees in process improvement.

ISO 9000

ISO 9000 is a set of standards intended to organize for producing high-quality goods.

Each company that is certified as ISO 9000 is required to ensure they remain compliant with a set of quality standards.

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Sofema Online provides a brief introduction to EASA Part 21 Subpart G Process and Privileges.

An EASA Part 21 Subpart G organization is an organization which has approval to manufacture aircraft parts and appliances in conformity with approved data.

The production organization certifies and releases the product on either Form 52 for a complete aircraft or EASA Form 1 for components.

Production Organisation Approvals (POAs) are managed by EASA in accordance with Subpart G of Regulation (EC) No 748/2012.

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SofemaOnline considers an effective process for measuring the effectiveness of Aviation Training Programs

Introduction to Measuring the Effectiveness of a Training Program

Aviation Organizations develop training programs for a range of reasons:

a) Mandatory Requirement
b) Related to Performance Problems
c) Improvement related to poor work quality and motivation

Aviation Business Training Program Delivery

The organisation develops these goals for the training and then measure the effectiveness of these training in meeting the requirements.

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